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Salt for Dogs: Healthy or Toxic?

Salt is an indispensable part of our diet. So it stands to reason that as a dog owner you ask yourself whether dogs are actually allowed to eat salt. People often warn against salt – but is salt actually harmful to dogs or does it just depend on the amount? Here you can find out everything about the tolerance of salt for dogs.

Is Salt Poisonous to Dogs?

Salt is listed as a toxic food in many articles on proper dog nutrition. But: It is not true that salt is basically poisonous for dogs. From a zoological point of view, dogs are predators. In nature, predators inevitably ingest salt. For example, when consuming prey, the blood of the animals contains salt. Certain amounts of salt are not only tolerable for dogs, they are even necessary for a healthy body function. Salt or sodium chloride plays an important role in the metabolism, nervous system, digestion, and water balance. For this reason, generally demonizing salt for dogs is nonsense.

Why is Too Much Salt Harmful to Dogs?

Even when dogs need salt, the white crystals can be dangerous for four-legged friends. Just like in humans, a high amount of salt in the body leads to an increased need for fluids. The result: the dog becomes very thirsty and has to drink a lot of water. In a healthy animal, the excess salt supplied is broken down by the kidneys and excreted together with the water. Sick dogs that suffer from kidney failure or heart disease, for example, are less able to break down salt. In the worst case, increased salt intake can damage the kidneys. Therefore, take care of your dog’s health and do not give a sick dog large amounts of salt.

How many salts Can Dogs Eat?

How much salt a dog can tolerate cannot be said in general terms. The exact amount depends on the size, weight, and health of the animal. Basically, when feeding a wholesome dog food, you can assume that the dog’s salt requirement is already covered by the food. An additional administration of salt is therefore not necessary. In individual cases, for example with nutrition plans, light food recipes, or BARF plans, it may be necessary to add salt to the feed. You should always strictly adhere to the amount specified in the nutrition plan tailored to your dog. However, feeding leftovers, seasoned meat, and snacks that are intended for humans are problematic. These foods often contain large amounts of salt and are not suitable for dogs.

Dogs’ salt needs are usually covered by a balanced diet. An additional dose of salt is only useful in exceptional cases.

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